CORVALLIS — Oregon State has its ace ready for LSU.

Bryce Fehmel struck out a season-high nine while allowing three runs in 7 2/3 innings to lead the Beavers to a 9-3 win over Northwestern State in the opening round of an NCAA Regional Friday night at Goss Stadium.

Oregon State (45-10-1), the No. 3 overall seed, has Pac-12 pitcher of the year Luke Heimlich ready to face LSU (38-25) in the baseball winners bracket at 7 p.m. Saturday. The second-seeded Tigers defeated San Diego State, 6-4, while saving their top pitcher, Zack Hess, to face the Beavers.

"Two real good teams, so we are excited about playing them," said OSU coach Pat Casey, whose Beavers ended last season with back-to-back losses to LSU at the College World Series. "LSU is a terrific team so both teams should be excited about playing."

Fehmel, who is usually OSU's No. 2 starter behind Heimlich, was told Thursday that he would start against the Demons. He struck out seven in the first four innings as Oregon State built a 4-0 lead.

"Early on I was getting ahead of them for the most part and when you are able to do that, you can throw any pitch in any count to keep them off balance," Fehmel said.

Nick Madrigal snapped an 0-for-17 string with three hits while driving in four for the Beavers. He came up with the bases loaded in both the third and sixth innings and drove in two runs each time.

"I understand it's baseball and you are not always going to get a hit every day," he said of going hitless in the previous four games. "I try not to carry yesterday into the next day. The great part about baseball is you get to play the next day and I felt great today."

Jack Anderson got the first hit for OSU in the third, and Steven Kwan reached on an error by first baseman David Fry with one out. Cadyn Grenier followed with a walk before Madrigal delivered a two-run single to put the Beavers into the lead.

Michael Gretler walked in the fourth inning and Kyle Nobach followed with a homer that put the Beavers ahead 4-0.

Lenni Kunert hit a solo homer in the fifth to get Northwestern State within 4-1.

Oregon State followed with four runs in the sixth after Trevor Larnach led off with a single. Nobach walked before Anderson singled in Larnach to put OSU ahead 5-1.

Fehmel walked Luke Watson with two outs in the seventh and Kunert drove him in with a double. Sam Taylor homered with two outs in the eighth inning before Fehmel was pulled after allowing six hits.

Zak Taylor led off the bottom of the eighth inning with a homer for OSU.

Oregon State had a couple sterling defensive plays, including a double play to end the fifth inning that started when Grenier showed off his range to the right by keeping a grounder from getting into left field. Third baseman Michael Gretler made a diving catch to end the game.

"I thought we played our tails off," Northwestern State coach Bobby Barbier said. "We had 17 hard-hit balls tonight, but the other team is really good. They make it hard for balls to find turf. Their lineup has more pro hitters than we've faced all year."